Solving Mysteries Without Any Clues

Mystery Machine

by Steve Deal on May 15, 2012

It sometimes seems like ‘Magic’ when you solve a problem that seems difficult at first glance.

The real ‘secret’ ?

Carefully isolate the reported problem to a smaller and smaller universe until it can only be one thing.

When I get a really tough problem, I often pull out a  checklist I made over two decades ago.   It has lots of questions that help me to think about the problem, and often leads us down the path to the ‘Aha’ moment when you can figure something out.

PC Debug Checklist

Print off pages 2/3 double sided on a sheet, and keep a stack nearby.

It was designed for use by a Help Desk, but works pretty well for most computer problems, and really for all kinds of problems.    Cat get sick every week?  Car doesn’t start?  Give it a try!


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